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Suspected Las Vegas serial rapist is an illegal alien who may have kept victims' panties as trophies: Police

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Screenshot of 8 News Now video

A suspected serial rapist currently in custody in Las Vegas, Nevada, is an illegal immigrant from Mexico who may have kept the panties of some of his victims as trophies, police claim.

Carlos Nava, 46, is currently being held in the Clark County Detention Center, accused of five sexual assaults in the Las Vegas valley, one of which is a "cold case" involving a minor.

Nava was most recently arrested back in July, when a local prostitute reported that Nava had sexually assaulted her. She claimed that Nava picked her up near the Orleans and that the two of them agreed that she would render services in exchange for $100. However, at some point during their encounter, she said Nava continued to perform a sex act, despite her protests, and then took out a knife and held it to her throat. She said he then removed the condom he had been wearing and continued to sexually assault her. He also smashed a bottle over her head and stole her money and cell phone, she claimed. She eventually escaped and ran naked to a nearby Walgreens for help.

Police arrested Nava 11 days later and were granted a warrant to collect a sample of his DNA and to search his vehicle, a white truck. That DNA sample reportedly connected Nava to four other unsolved sexual assault cases in the area that occurred between 2003 and 2015, all against reportedly vulnerable females. At least two of the alleged victims of those cases were prostitutes. One was a minor who claimed she had consensual sex with Nava, though a friend called and reported Nava, perhaps for statutory rape. A nurse performing a rape kit on another alleged victim claimed that woman was "mentally delayed," according to 8 News Now. Yet another alleged victim was described as "a runaway."


The search of Nava's truck supposedly produced other unsettling evidence. According to a report, police found a collection of women's panties — 17 pairs total — that had been folded, stacked, and fastened with a rubber band. The alleged victim of the 2015 assault was reinterviewed last month, and she claimed that one item in Nava's panty collection matched the kind of underwear she would have worn at the time she was attacked.

"Though rare, people who commit sexual assault-related crimes have been known to keep property belonging to victims as a trophy of the incident," the Las Vegas Metro arrest report stated.

Police reportedly found a backpack full of latex gloves in the truck as well.

Nava is currently held on five counts of sexual assault, including against a minor under age 16, though investigators believe there are likely other victims out there.

Nava, a Mexican national, has entered the U.S. illegally at least eight times since 2002, meaning that he would have been in the country illegally during each of the alleged sexual assaults. Reports say that he was granted "voluntary removal" to Mexico twice and was also deported there at least twice, most recently in 2020. In addition to ICE and CBP, Nava has had encounters with law enforcement in California, Nevada, and Arizona and has been previously convicted of battery and domestic violence.

The alleged victim in the July incident did not appear in court for Nava's most recent hearing. The judge in the case reportedly stated that if the woman does not appear to testify in future court dates regarding the incident, that case against Nava will be dismissed. Nava is scheduled to appear for another hearing on January 4.

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